In the news...

Microorganisms could help rid soil of lingering pesticides

August 16th, 2019

Pesticides have been widely used after the Second World War in management of weeds, diseases and pests of plants. Most of these have persistent nature and cause serious environmental concerns. They can be managed only through the biological agents for remediation of agricultural soils. The crop fields are normally over …

How do organic pesticides compare to conventional pesticides?

January 31st, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Many consumers choose to buy higher-priced organic produce because they believe organic foods are not grown using pesticides and therefore are healthier for humans and for the environment. However, organic farming can include any pesticides derived from natural sources. This distinction does not mean organic pesticides are necessarily less toxic than …

An unexpected culprit might have caused France’s mass honey bee die-off in the 1990s

December 12th, 2018 / IFL Science

The honey bees of the French countryside suffered a catastrophic die-off between 1994 and 1998. Unsurprisingly, the mass mortalities coincided with the introduction of several new-to-the-market agricultural insecticides. Environmentalists and farmers were quick to point the finger at one in particular: imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid produced primarily by the pharmaceutical giant …

How mobile phones are helping farmers grow bigger harvests

November 28th, 2018 / Gates Notes

Philanthropist Bill Gates writes:
Whenever I travel to rural parts of the world, the farmers I meet talk about one thing that holds them back: they can’t save their money.
They don’t mean they spend more than they earn. They mean that, literally, they don’t have a safe place to put their …

Pesticides: what we ought to know

October 8th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are a big nuisance to farmers because, among other things, they reduce crop production.
To overcome the problem, farmers often resort to buying pesticides which are poisonous chemicals manufactured to kill the pests. They may be dusted or sprayed on the crop to prevent pest attack.
The …

How regulators ensure that pesticide residues on food don’t hurt us

May 17th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Due to my relationship with the world of food, I constantly hear inaccurate comments about GMOs and agricultural pesticides. While these conversations indicate that people are increasingly concerned about what they eat, they also reveal a disturbing level of misinformation.
In my opinion, this is due primarily to activists and …

Delving into the GMO traits that cut back pesticide impacts globally

May 3rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

This is the second in a three-part series making the case that the development of the biotech traits for insect resistance and herbicide tolerance are the most substantial innovations in sustainable agriculture in the last three decades. In part one, I laid out the context in which I believe they …

Myths and misleading claims about fertilizers and pesticides lead to GMO fear mongering

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Why did activists trash experimental crops of genetically modified (GM) maize and oilseed rape in the 1990s in the UK? Why were their activities closely followed by a pliant media?
Not having been closely involved with plant breeding, my first reaction was to wonder what I had missed that led the …

Why do consumers prefer organic to conventional produce when both use pesticides?

August 11th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

What gets overlooked by [activist] groups are the reports from the USDA itself that show that even organic foods have pesticide residues on them — some are synthetic pesticides and some, like Spinosad, are ones approved for organic uses. Feel comfortable, though, because that same USDA data showed safe levels …

Ethiopia: Armyworm still wreaks havoc on maize

July 4th, 2017 / AllAfrica

Over the past two weeks, farmers of Yinesu Sostu Wereda in Gojjam, Amhara Regional State, have been busy handpicking larvae of the fall army worm. The farmers from the area, also known as Gogota, are doing this as an immediate response to the recent army worm attack in their region. …